The process of portfolio management has developed from Boston Consulting Group matrix of “Stars, Cows, Children and Dogs” and is a continuous activity (Davidson, 2002, p. 29). Branding authors have developed their own system of Strategic Brand, Linchpin brand, Silver Bullet and Cash Cow Brands (Aaker and Joachimsthaler, 2000, p. 136).
There is possibility that a brand is simultaneously a linchpin and a silver-bullet brand, or it could evolve from a strategic brand into a cash cow brand. Strategic brand is supposed to be the one that represents a meaningful future level of sales and profits. Linchpin is supposed to be a leverage point of a major bussines area or of a future vision of the firm. Silver bullet is a brand or subbrand that positively influences the image of another brand (IBM ThinkPad subbrand had positively influenced public perceptions of IBM brand). Cash cow brand has the role to generate margin resources, and it doesn’t involve investment and active management (like Nivea Creme, the original product of Nivea) (Aaker and Joachimsthaler, 2000, p. 136-138).
We are able to see that there are some differences if we see the BCG matrix or branding matrix. In branding there is no negative scenario. Probably because in branding we usually deal with the future and not so much with present or oven past. That’s why brand’s are built over year and not over quarters.
Aaker, David A. and Joachimsthaler, Erich. 2000. Brand Leadership. 2000. The Free Press. 350 p.
Davidson, Hugh. 2002. Portfolio managing matters. Brand Strategy: 162, p. 28-29.